Judge to modify bond conditions for Trump co-defendant in Georgia

By Kate Brumback | Associated Press

ATLANTA — The Georgia judge overseeing the election subversion case against former President Donald Trump and others said Tuesday he plans to modify the bond conditions for one of the defendants after prosecutors complained about his social media posts that mentioned witnesses and co-defendants.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made a rare appearance in the courtroom to argue for the revocation of the bond of Harrison Floyd, who was a leader in the organization Black Voices for Trump. He was one of 18 people accused along with the former president of participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally try to overturn the 2020 election.

Willis filed a motion last week asking Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to revoke Floyd’s bond. In her first in-person appearance in this case since the indictment, she argued that Floyd has been attempting to intimidate and contact likely witnesses and his co-defendants in violation of the terms of his release.

Floyd’s lawyers argued that his social media posts are constitutionally protected speech and that he was in no way trying communicate with or intimidate any witness or co-defendant.

McAfee said there is no constitutional right to bail and that bond orders can contain conditions that curtail a defendant’s rights, but he also noted that people are generally allowed to publicly criticize the merits of the case but cannot cross a line. He said Floyd appears “very boldly willing to explore where that line is” in this case.

McAfee said he did believe Floyd’s bond conditions need to be modified. He said he would give the lawyers some time to discuss proposed conditions and said he would check in with the two sides around 5 p.m.

McAfee said he didn’t believe that Floyd’s posts amounted to intimidation, pointing out that they didn’t include posting of personal information or any explicit wording that something should be done about the people he mentioned. But he said the question was much closer when it comes to whether Floyd was trying to directly or directly communicate with witnesses or codefendants, noting that the people did end up seeing his posts.

The charges against Floyd relate to allegations of harassment toward Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County election worker who had been falsely accused of election fraud by Trump and his Republican supporters. Floyd took part in a Jan. 4, 2021, conversation in which Freeman was told she “needed protection” and was pressured to lie and say she had participated in election fraud, the indictment says.

Floyd was among 18 people charged along with Trump and accused of participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally try to keep the Republican incumbent in power even after he lost the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Four defendants have pleaded guilty after reaching a deal with prosecutors that includes a promise to testify in any trials in the case. Trump and the others have pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set, but Willis last week asked McAfee to set it for Aug. 5, 2024.

Floyd was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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